(Is there any other way to fret?)
There's a house for sale. A nice-looking house, right next to campus (which would be great--not a problem at all; it's not too close to the dorms, but it is across the street from our office and close to the gym!). Three bedrooms, two baths, new roof kitchen heating AC etc. It costs...$129,000.
We haven't looked at it yet. I picked up the flier with the specs this afternoon. Seems good, in general. The rooms are quite small (I'm guessing that's why the price is so low?), and it has one weirdly enormous bathroom (twice the size of the bedrooms!!), but it has a big enclosed front porch, a screened-in back porch, and a patio. The porches would be perfect for prepping seedlings, and the yard is the right size for a garden, reasonable lawn, and minimal mowing.
The bedrooms are really small, though--8.5 x 11 (plus walk-in closets). The dining room and kitchen seem smallish, too.
OK, but here's the source of the fret (because, again, we have not looked at this house, and whatever, there will be other houses). At what point should one buy a house? I don't mean in terms of affording it (because at that price, I expect we could easily be paying less in a mortgage than our current rent, if we wanted to, and I have some savings that could make a small down payment), but rather in terms of life-planning. Especially in academia, because, let's face it, if we (both) got some kind of nice deal elsewhere, we'd take it. (The "both" makes that more difficult, of course.) But I don't want to keep wafting around noncommittally because I might one day get a job somewhere else. On the other hand, what's with this sudden urgency? We've been talking about looking for a house next spring, but neither one of us wants to move RIGHT NOW. And obviously we shouldn't just look at one house; so, if we look at this house (which we've agreed we ought to do, if only for kicks), shouldn't we look at others, too? And what if it's too small? In principle I'm okay with small rooms, but I don't want to buy a place that we'll "outgrow" in a few years (although I guess that's not the end of the world.... I just like the idea of stepping outside of the whole buy-buy-buy thing that seems to be our national home-owning culture). So, ugh, maybe I just need talking-down?
I'm sure that this enthusiasm, or whatever it is, will blow over in a day or two. In the meantime, I need to go measure my bed.